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  CSPAN    Tonight From Washington    News/Business. News.  

    August 29, 2013
    8:00 - 11:01pm EDT  

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the education, the administration, and all these other connections. so it is effectively no system. so if we talk tough -- to stir the pot of little bit -- encouraging growth or expansion with society's systems quotient, some techniques that we can do to shift the mental models away from the gadgets and sort of trance and to the idea that innovation is everywhere. innovation is pervasive in all our systems, within the not so sexy financial system, but not so sexy administrative system. they're better ways of doing things. ..
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it's usually a teacher and it's not some president or whatever. it's someone you may know personally so you can foster a closer relationship in your organization that will inherently create those innovative organizations that rely on people is the foundation >> i really like the iceberg analogy and i would go back to where he started in terms of what's important for young professionals looking. i think what lies below that surface -- i am not a tech die. i am impressed by really good
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design that solves a practical problem and i don't claim to know a lot in the tech field but critical thinking and what i mean when i say that how do we go about solving problems is one of those skills that lie below the surface lion. the second i think his appreciation of diversity that we don't have the answers and we may have to go to places where the thinking is different than our own and the things we disagree with and take on viewpoints that we are uncomfortable with in order to learn and the third would be for emotional intelligence and the fourth is looking at leadership. you said there are beacons and places and folks that are natural allies that you should seek al. they're going to want to talk to you i think and they are going to want to listen to your ideas. >> one more question. >> actually i have a question.
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i was wondering if the panelists could give their personal opinion on what the most important short-term barriers are or short-term problems facing innovation for national security? >> i think the fact that there is fear to spend money on innovation even though it will have long-term results and i will give an example. this was brought up to me today. specific program managers are afraid of applying l.e.d. technology because in the short-term it costs more and they are evaluated specifically on a one-year timeframe for money even though the system can't cut a lifetime system that l.e.d. lights will save thousands of hours in replacement costs. that is not -- they stick with legacy systems. if you were to spend money right now it would save you money in
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the long runs. >> to piggyback on that i come from industry and even an industry innovation takes a long time to end up with the widgets in the gadgets. let's look at cars. cell phones have been ubiquitous in people's hands for a long time. finally in 2014 models are starting to everett ties the cell phone holder next to the cupholder. that is not even technological and evasion. it's just someone that says i'm designing a car and i will just kind of peace over that okay so this is industry. this is a buildup industry from detroit that says what is competing with the best of the best so it's just a mindset or look at tablets. tablets have been ubiquitous for a long time but you know legacy systems like airlines and car manufactures are just starting to put them into -- to adopt
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them. now if industry competes with a lot of other competitors internationally it takes this long to bring these technological innovations and adopt them with their products the government is the monopoly takes a little bit longer. so the biggest challenge that i see and thank you that was a great question is how do you keep quality control but find a way to rush the market or whatever the appropriate terminology is for the government technologies or even just nontechnological innovations that could help make your product or your service better. >> i would just simply say i think we covered it earlier. the egger span is the fear of failure and not being able to learn from failure and that i
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think goes through government in terms of personnel systems, in terms of being able to admit when a program isn't working and the risks are so high and it jeopardizes careers and jeopardizes programs and jeopardizes your ability to continue working. but what did you learn in life? people patting you on the back or that was not the best way to do something. here's a better way. you will have another chance to prove yourself again. that's a tract as we take from our personal life that we don't apply in our professional lives because their constraints are so great. >> before i turn it back over to eric i wanted to remark on one key point that i'm going to take away from this which is that you know the title is almost
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daunting in some ways. it sounds like it's trying to solve a big problem, a big important problem. what i am coming away with is what i have heard from the panelists and the impetus and the questions i have heard from you on the importance of the human dimension, on their relationships, on the individual passionate commitments come to on almost the na desire to be playful and collaborative at work. and this is wonderfully simple. you know on the suggestions we heard from the panelists to go back to your workplace is incredibly powerful in its simplicity. so i just wanted to thank the panelists for letting me leave here at little bit more optimistic about this and for their great questions from you
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all and thank you again for allowing me to be part of it. >> thank you beth and how about a round of applause for her distinguished moderator. [applause] i think we all have a greater understanding now about the challenges but more importantly the opportunities for innovation and national security and foreign-policy and while we may have more questions than answers right now asking those tough questions amongst a group of people i guess is really the first step about the innovations that we desire. >> i would just like to thank everyone. csis, c-span the moderator and the great panelists all of you for being here and really contributing to such a great conversation. i really appreciate it and i hope that you can join us around the corner at 91919 street where
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we will try to continue to discussion in a more informal setting. have a great night. [applause] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations] [inaudible conversations]
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>> very often what you see as the causes of the first lady becomes so entwined with her image that she keeps that cause and that image. the rest of her life. we could talk about roslyn and her commitment to mental health and we could talk about barbara bush and her commitment to litters the enter foundation. betty ford and her commitment to sobriety and addiction.
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>> 's former education secretary william bennett on whether the cost of college is worth the expense. he spoke about the state of higher education at an event hosted by the american enterprise institute. it's an hour and 15 minutes. >> we are going to begin. we are delighted you are all here and ladies and gentlemen
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good afternoon and welcome to our book event. built in it and david wilezol's new book, the "is college worth it?." here it is. if you haven't bought a copy already we hope you will from our family booksellers. i am alex pollack a resident fellow at aei and this will be my pleasure to introduce our speakers today. we are coming up on the 151st anniversary of the moral act which was enacted july 2, 18621 of the remarkable achievements under the lincoln administration in addition to fighting the civil war and a landmark in higher education. it begins and acts donating public lands to provide colleges for the benefit of agriculture
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and the mechanic arts. granted to several states and amount of public land for support and maintenance of at least one college with the leading object shall be to teach such branches of learning as are related to agriculture and the mechanic arts in order to promote the liberal and practical education of the industrial classes and several pursuits and professions of life. it seems to me that they knew exactly what they were about in 1862. that may be less through for us today. we have gone from a society where about one 40th of young people went to college a century ago. to where about two-thirds are pursuing some form of education after high school and this obviously changes everything in the economics of higher education.
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and it seems to have produced as today's book suggests, a debt-financed let of va holders. many of us like bill and david did have noticed parallels to our recent debt-financed glut of houses and condos when it comes to higher education finance. debt financing is especially a problem if what is being financed his consumption, not investment. if as it has been suggested, for a large number of students compact college is not investment but consumption four fun filled filled years before they have to settle down to a adult life. these and many more interesting and challenging problems of college education and college invocation runaway college costs and the debt explosion financing
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them are discussed in this insightful and practical book. for bill and david like the authors the moral act who want their work to be practical and useful and i think it will be. in addition to the discussion today, we invite all of you to come back this following monday june 24 for a e. i's related conference on the trillion dollar question reinventing student financial aid and this will start at 9:00 in the morning on monday and we hope to see you there. today bill and david will present their book for about 20 to 25 minutes and the discussants will speak about 10 minutes each and we will give the authors a chance to respond to any comments clarifications or arguments and we will open the floor to for your questions. we are going to adjourn at one time go 45 for a coffee reception and book signing and
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we hope you will stay for that. "is college worth it?" will be on sale and we hope you will buy a copy. let me introduce our authors. bill bennett as you know is one of america's most influential voices on cultural, political and education issues. he's the senior pfizer to project lead the way and on the advisory board of -- a chief education adviser to be in stock innovation. he is taught at boston university the university of texas at harvard and served as secretary of education under president reagan and was america's first drug czar under president george h.w. bush. it was the author of more than 24 books including to new york times number one bestsellers and the host of the old bennett's morning in america and has received more than 30 honorary degrees and as a final note a very long time ago bill and i were philosophy students
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together at williams college. bill will speak in a minute. he will be followed by david wilezol the co-author of "is college worth it?." david is the associate producer of the nationally syndicated bill bennett's morning in america and a contributor to the manhattan institute's higher education policy blog and at claremont institute fellow and studied greek and latin at the catholic university in washington. in his honor i tried to come up with an appropriate latin quote for addressing student debt and i suggest -- that is happy is he who has no debt. [laughter] >> that's good. [laughter] ski thank you. bill and david we look forward to your presentation of this provocative look and bill we welcome you to the aei podium. [applause]
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>> thank you alex. we were in the same class with the same major of philosophy were it not for the honor system i wouldn't have copied from alexis blue books. we had final exams and we had saturday classes. remember that? i won't describe the book. i will describe some basic familiarity with it and describe the high points in brief remarks. one of the things we said at the very beginning of the book combat the very beginning of the book is that two-thirds of the people who graduate from high school and immediately enroll in a four-year college probably do something else and we talk about various options like community college or get a job for a year or two or military or other things. we say this based on what we have read and what the data says
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including such facts as 46% of people who start four-year colleges don't finish in six to eight years. so that is one of the reasons we say it erie there are other reasons to map. a lot of reaction to this book, has some interesting and some not so interesting that it has gotten a ton of reviews. i think we have had some kind of a nerve and that discussion is going on and a debate will follow, a good debate i hope alex and everyone else. one of the interesting responses came from a guy who wrote from california who said i have triplets and they are 14 and we have been grooming them for stanford but having read your book that the return on investment is -- i am steering the three of them to harvey mudd. i hope to hear from harvey mudd and i hope to get some kind of fear percentage for this. the other was from a recent graduate of north carolina state university is that i'm afraid what you said about the liberal
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arts is entirely true. he said i finished a four year program and i won't mention the college. a four year program at a very well-known liberal arts college and he said i realized i have learned absolutely nothing. he didn't say -- part of the problem humanities and social sciences as we were talking about before is they have changed so dramatically. it's one of the reasons they are not worth as much as they used to be but after finishing four years of liberal arts college he said i've been enrolled as a freshman at north carolina state university in nuclear engineering. and he graduated at 25. he wrote me at 27 and he said a four-year mistake that i had a good time. [laughter] i said i know that. that i know. that much i know about liberal arts colleges that you had a good time. other reactions. alex and i were getting lots of invitations to go to campus forms on the said stanford and
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other things. it's delightful to get. maybe the funniest one from university and i don't think she will mind me telling is heather wilson who is a former congressman from new mexico an astronaut. she wrote me from the south dakota school of -- for which we have great praise in the book. she said please come to the winter commencement in rapid city. one is that? december 21 in rapid city. i said maybe not. she said recognize we don't have much of a budget to pay you because you know they just don't pay me much. my salary public informatiinformati on is $62,500 they average graduate is $63,500. i said take up a collection from your recent graduates and send me a fee. i will go in december. a report from the brookings institution surely after a book
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came out written by stephanie bai saw still echo the main themes from the book and we were glad to here that because a couple of people said they hoped they could characterize the book is a right-wing diatribe which it's not. we are delighted to hear this from the brookings institution. they said the following, college can be worth of providing the student graduate studies the right subject and those for that student to the right school. this is very much along the lines are we wrote in a recent editorial. college can still be worth it if majoring in the right subject at the right price at the right place which is a major factor from the perspective of the individual. the brookings institution report i saw hill and over and said this in part. there's an enormous variation to the so-called return on education depending on factors such as institution attended field of study whether a student graduates and post-graduation occupation. while the average return average
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return, not the median return an average return we emphasize is not universally so. we are certain schools majors occupations and individuals college may not need the smart investment through telling all young people to go to college and matter what which is a pretty loud message we are actually doing some of them a disservice. that is pretty interesting closed quote. the second i would make is we talk a lot about this denham subjects and the s.t.e.m. job science technology and to nehring and math and we say this as outsiders. i'm a philosophy major and david is a classics major. which one is more pathetic in getting a job after college is tough competition. i returned to the university of texas where i got my ph.d. in philosophy and went to the jobs bulletin board in the ole thing up there was a notice from the department of labor about minimum wage and what you're entitled to. it didn't look so promising out there.
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so i saw student walked by and kelly is a philosophy student so i know what they look like. i was one once. i said how are you doing? he said fine. i got made ph.d. here. he said how's that working out for you? i said fine, that i have a radio show. he said that's good. that's dialogue. that's tradition. i hope it is. anyway we talk a lot about s.t.e.m. jobs he could spare the jobs it seems that are very much worth it and they of course have studied is quite worth it. we based some of the conclusions we came up with in the book on the return on investment on a pay scale from the year 2012 to 2013 the numbers are out too and this has shown that this pattern continues. the top 10 institutions in terms of giving you a return on investment are all technical
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institutions are institutions that emphasize or have a very strong presence in science technology and should nehring and math. i mentioned harvey mudd knack at caltech m.i.t. and attempted stanford which is strong and i've been very strong and others. another brookings report by jonathan rothwell shows one in 10 jobs in the u.s. economy, this is very interesting one in 10 jobs are sub bachelor degree s.t.e.m. jobs. these jobs have an average salary of $53,000 per year. pretty good trade in dallas milwaukee 15% of the job listings for sub bachelor s.t.e.m. jobs. a real-life sample made in the news edward snowden. i'm not recommending him for herat they here today. just know he had no college degree and no high school degree and was getting paid $200,000 a
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year for his technical abilities. i should have said this a minute ago. in this upper strata of pay scales ranking for schools with a heavy s.t.e.m. focused the school with the highest in 2013 as it was in 2012 is harvey mudd and the small engineering school in california. mudd graduates earn $2 million more in their lifetime than they would have burned with a high school education varied in 2013 the number of the prestigious private schools princeton penn and yale slip i wouldn't attach too much significance from one year to another but if there is a pattern over time than i would attach significance and there is a pattern over time. places like colorado school of mines for example are growing and moving further up the chart, sixth and 2013. that is it where it seems to be where the opportunity is now and
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for the foreseeable future and note the following which is something we pointed out in the book and a lot of people found this hard to believe but it is true. although there are 50% more students who are enrolled in college than in 1985 consistent with the numbers you are citing, 50% or students enrolled in college than in 1985 there were more graduates in 1985 than there are today in the fields of microbiology chemical engineering and computer science. here you have a dramatic increase in the number students enrolled in college, tremendous opportunities in these fields and you have faith the% fewer graduates in these fields. i have some notions about why that is a case that has less to do with college and high school and even elementary school where i taught sciences and math but that's extraordinary number. we say at the end of the book we think technology for the internet and other things have a
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transformative effect on higher education and the next revolution may be coming. we talked about some of the programs like udap city which i'm a senior adviser at stanford company sierra and other companies. low and the holt not long after look a think this is a vanguard it was announced and some of you may have seen it georgia tech is now offering a totally on line masters degree in computer science and only takes two years price tags $7000. it used to be $40,000 for out-of-state and $20,000 or so for and state, $7000 is the price. it's a prestigious university. first-rate academic program and this may be part of the future. let me just finish because i want to make room for david and the very distinguished panel.
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with a few of the facts that we we -- that come from the book which people have found interesting insight the ones of the people commented on and we didn't know this either until there was research. 43% of students under the age of 45 a student death and the average total amount is around $20,000 which is tough when you are just starting out. they are 115,000 janitors with wexler's degrees. 45% of college students made quote no statistically significant gains in critical thinking complex reasoning and writing skills in their first three years of college. so what are you actually paying for is the big question and what is the value-added here. they also found the average college student had only 12 to 13 hours per week of study outside of class.
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what are they doing? don't answer that. when i was secretary of education i went to france and that with the minister of education of france and we were talking. he slightly had his nose up in the air american secretary of education and he thought i was security a mistake that happened to me throughout my career payday said good morning minister how are you students doing and he said -- that i said what he students doing. he looked at his watch and he said it's 10:00 and they are all reading. what are your american students doing? and i said god only knows. we have a dissenter like system. many are in recess right now. anyway another thing we talked about and this is so much of our research by the work of dr. veterans his colleagues and this is a very interesting fact
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fact -- faculty related to costs and related to overhead. the university of texas austin where i got my ph.d. 57% of the credit hours are taught by 20% of the faculty. this is gotten a lot of people thinking we have heard from a lot of people. this is generally chewing the answer to that is yes. a small part of the faculty teaches the largest part of the student load. the median graduate of the south dakota school of mines is earning more than a graduate of harvard. you do have to spend four years in rapid city rather than boston but life is long if you can survive williamstown for four williams winter's you can survive rapid city. this to me is the thing we have engaged in this book about that has been kind of the toughest. not that it's -- not that it
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isn't true but this is the one that people get angry about and that we have had real back and forth because you know when we talk about increasing the price of higher education the answer you get most often and the answers you get most often are too. one is that we have already been engaged with university presidents on this. one is that the price of excellence. that is just not an answer because a lot of places they have bought excellence in a lot of places they haven't. a lot of places bought climbing walls and gourmet food services in the dorms believe it or not and other things. the second thing we have heard as the price goes up so that we charge the wealthy students for money so we can give more money to the poor kids so they will calm. as best we can tell and only vedder will know for sure. in 1970 something like 12% of
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recent college graduates came from the bottom poor tile of the income distributdistribut ion. 40 years later in 2000 the percentage was 7% so this whole notion that we charge more to the rich so we can give away more to the poor has not worked. we have fewer poor students in college. this combined with "the new york times" story which pointed out how the college's beliefs are not reaching the extremely talented poor kids in america even with their enormous budgets and enormous recruiting budgets still remains a scandal in higher education. anyway we are very pleased with the way the book has been received and look forward to more conversations about it and finding out more. and we look forward to changes in the higher education many of which i think the conversation has begun to turn too read thank you very much and thank you very much alex. [applause]
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>> thanks you bill. david. >> thanks very much. i wanted to first thank aei for having me here today and thank l. for giving me the opportunity to write this -- write this book and sitting on this distinguished panel with men with decades, centuries of experience where i am just the best looking 70-year-old in america. anyway i want to go a little bit heavy on statistics in the beginning and then i'm going to talk a little bit about what it means for millennials especially because i am one and i think this is something useful a generational perspective. young college graduates are still struggling with student loan debt and unemployment even as the economy has improved somewhat in the last couple of months and the major economic consequence of this is the
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inability to get married have kids by a car and things like that. there is a lot less room to achieve a lot of the aspirational goals for people of my generation were people who are saddled with this kind of student loan debt and you can look at a couple of numbers here that tell this story. a survey done by wells fargo found that one third of millennials report regretting going to college. they said they would be better off working and earning money. half say that debt is their biggest financial concern with 42% calling it overwhelming. 35% of indebted graduates under the age of 30 or more than 90 days to language on their student loans. the average graduate in 2013 had a debt burden of around $30,000. i think the median debt written for recent graduates is $14,000 which is not 30 but that's still quite a hefty sum of money to be burdened with when you come out of undergraduate and did a
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report from congress just found that student loans have increased from a nationwide total of $550 billion in late 2007 to just under $1 trillion in the first quarter of 2013. so in only six years, the five years we have doubled the amount of indebtedness in this country with pretty bad if x.. as bill a letter to i think the major culprit begins with the schools themselves. i think they're capitalizing on a prominent social belief that to make it in the labor force as a worker as a human being you need a college degree. it's all but essential. i think just speaking from experience and an anecdote is not the beginning of data but speaking from experience i meet people who don't have college degrees and will attest to this generally. there is a feeling not only in themselves but a feeling and perception by the people that if
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you are without a college degree is somehow messed up in life and i think that's not a good thing. i don't think that's america. so schools can raise prices to capture students who can pay full price. the very top tier schools harvard princeton and yale are going to have a huge amount of demand for people want to go to so they can jack up the prices as much as they wanted people are going to pay that because that brand is synonymous with achievement in american life. and what has happened is a lot of second-tier schools have followed suit and they also have raised their tuition troops over at levels that most people can't pay. i think not to make the school the whipping boy of the george washington university is one school that is kind of the exemplary of this. it's the most expensive school in the country that but nobody would say it's of the highest quality. like, i think it's capitalizing
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on the belief that price is anonymous with quality so with your apparent our student who really may be as uninformed about the college process or in formed nec that, there is going to be a great shot at high-level achievement and i know for a fact that there are a lot of kids coming out with huge amounts of student loan debt. when the college captures this money they sink it into expensive building projects student centers hot tubs and rock climbing walls and things like that which are fun. i went to american university and was the beneficiary of a lot of these nice amenities i'm not going to lie but in truth they were on essential to the learning process and i would have been happier being less than debt and having a nice less dorm room or cafeteria or something like that. and then lastly they play a game with financial aid for low-income students which i
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think is at times somewhat despicable. this is all undergirded by the ubiquity of student loans and anyone basically who wants a student loan in america from the federal government can get one. knowing that is an unending money spigot the schools like to raise their prices and don't have a lot of compunction about doing that. i think this is a big area of hypocrisy he could as we know the philosophical like -- most colleges is social justice fairness and things like that. a lot of these very a few real moral perspectives and in bettering the world and that is fine but if you are going to hold two notions of economic and social betterment as universities do then you had better be prepared to be honest with students when they are ready to sign a $20,000 promissory note per year for your student loans prayed i think that is exploitative to
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say the least. i want to point to some stats from the new america foundatiofoundatio n. this is an incredible study that just came out and it talks about pell grant -- tell grant recipients. they say they will give you money and then rolled low income students but what we are finding is that a lot of the students still come out of school heavily indebted. at boston university 15% of the students there are low income which means their full-time freshmen whose families make $30,000 or less a year. if he presented the students are going come. those students are $24,000 a year to either out-of-pocket or student loans. santa clara university was the worst offender, 15% of the students are low-income and they are paying an average $46,000 a year out-of-pocket between student loans and out-of-pocket costs. that is ridiculous.
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the consequence of all this beyond i think each individual's perilous financial state and not being able to get married and have kids and buy a car and what have you is that we are creating a class of citizens who are perpetually alienated, dissolution from the economic system. they feel like they have bought in and worked hard and done what they were supposed to do. they have made an investment as a lot of these student loans are sold and it can be. i'm not saying that student loans are never good idea because they can be but, especially in light of looking at the last election and the election of 47% income inequality and economic unfairness this needs to be a part of that conversation for republicans and conservatives. and a lot of scholars at aei have done a really good job of
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talking about that. in conclusion yes, it can still be worth it. it does depend on what you are studying and where you are going and things like that. i think it's important to recognize that the kinds of people that we are turning out at the university system not only -- economically but also civically we are creating a class of people that are not going to code here as the citizens perhaps are missing out on what america is really about. thanks very much. [applause] >> thank you david. >> we have two experts discuss and of this book and these ideas. the first will be richard george chairman and president ceo of great lakes higher education organization. he has been substantially involved in public finance and
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post-secondary educational finance since 1972. he is chairman of the wisconsin covenant foundation and wrecked or of the national association of student loans administrators videos. listed director of the national student clearinghouse and a principle negotiator in 19921998 and 2007 of the u.s. department of education's big oceanic rule may keep committees for student loan programs. he has also consulted on post-secondary educational finance for the national finance corp. and is a director of great lakes higher dictation corporation myself i can attest to his acute and creative insights and the issues we are addressing today and i hope you all pick up a copy of his little piece called in a modest proposal for higher education finance which is available in the reception area. our second discuss and will be richard vedder a distinguished professor of economics at ohio
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university the director of the center of four-parter till at -- affordability and productivity. how are you doing on that affordability and credibility and adjunct of aei. he served on the commission for the future of higher education and has written widely on american economic history authoring such books as out of work unemployment of government in the 20th century america and american economy and historical perspective and particularly with respect to today's subject and issues the book going broke, why college costs too much. going broke by degree and his college work that ought to be sold as a two book set that we could have everybody by. rich is also the author of numerous scholarly papers and many shorter pieces for the popular press. i should mention congressman pete tri-had hoped to join us
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today but was car -- caught up in the markup. the discussion is circling going to be in calling on another occasion. you have the flora. >> thank you alex and thank you to aei for having this event and the invitation to participate. i have two say bill and david that i thoroughly enjoyed the book. i think when you look at some of the overarching issues in the book's secondary space and particularly the fundamental issue of whether post-secondary education is intended to confer a societal benefit for an individual benefit, the answer to that question in part determines who should pay for that post-secondary education and whether it should be the public or the individual beneficiary. a second overarching question is , what is the purpose of
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post-secondary education? is it classical educational enlightenment or is it training? i think of those issues are grappled with my delay in the book and i think anyone who wants to understand where we need to go in post-secondary education driven by the answers to those overarching questions needs to read this book. it's a compilation in many respects of much of what those of us who are practitioners in this area have seems in the piecemeal in the past but it does an excellent job of bringing it together and documenting it and for anyone who wants to do research in this area particularly the notes in this book provide a real transcript of much of what influences the debate. i was particularly taken by the book in terms of its -- the
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second overarching issue of whether education is for classical enlightenment or training, and the statistic that is cited in the book in the 2011th survey of students where 88% of the students responded that their principle interest and principle purpose in post-secondary education was training and job opportunities. that tells us again a lot about who might most appropriately be paying for that trend. should it be the individual or should it he the perspective employers that would be the beneficiaries of that training? as i said in dealing with any of these questions this is an excellent primer and i commend
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it to all of you. i also particularly agree with something that the book touches on several times. it's really the fundamental issue of whether college is worth it and the answer of course both bill and david have told us is yes and no. it depends. it depends on where you go, what you studied and what your preparation is and what your motivation is. what we see is a very much differentiated space in post-secondary education and yet as the book also clearly points out we have a monolithic system that addresses it or ticket only in the context of financially to high want to end by remarks by focusing on student loan programs and i should say that all of my comments are my personal observations and alex is a board member i may can this disclaimer so nothing is
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reported as having been said on behalf of great lakes. nonetheless just so all of you who may not a familiar with first lakes understand we service over $150 billion in student loans for over 6 million borrowers nationally. we see every day what this debt word means in america and it paints a picture that is not particularly attractive. much has been said about college cost increases and how they have outpaced inflation significantly that the more important comparison is how college cost increases have outpaced income growth. that is simply an unsustainable force. it will lead to the continuation of problems we see particularly the problems outlined in chapter 2 of the book. if i have one criticism it is that it only touches briefly on
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one of the significant moral issues that underlies the problems to the growing debt and it's the unheard voice that is very rarely focused on and that is the voice of the -- we have an unfortunate situation in the student loan space where the overwhelming majority are those who have not completed their education, could not completed a degree and not completed their credentials. unfortunately the overwhelming majority are also our most vulnerable provosts. minorities first generation students, low income students. with a broken k-12 system and the idea that everybody has to have post-secondary education what this does is it gives life
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to post-secondary education. if everyone has to go on to post-secondary education secondary education is free. it for forces students to pay for that post-secondary education. when we do and we create an enormous pool of defaulters who are not existing students who then we lose contact with because we haven't put the resources in the skip tracing and location finding we can't help those defaulterdefaulter s with the tools that are available. we need a student loan program that is different in the context of a financially but graham where no one should he allowed to borrow until they have demonstrated preparation and capacity to process. it is far cheaper for us to make the enhanced grants to those
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most vulnerable cohorts than it is for us to make loans and then pretend we collect on those loans and put those loans into income-based repayment or income retention repayment or any of the other hosts of variations. the reality is it's cheaper for us to make a grand than it is to make an income contingent loan is forgiven sometime in the future. we need to protect those walbrook cohorts. schools need to have skin in the game. they need to enhance pell grants and other granted institutional aids. don't are out until they are able to demonstrate the capacity to persist in at that point then we need differential underwriting so that we match what the capacity to pay maybe in the future with the amount of capital they are willing to
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commit to that education. that's the only way we are going to get complete transparency in the student loan space. it won't be by having a new information sheet for a new disclosure. it will come about when the provider of the capital tells the individual student this is how much will be made available to you based on what you intend to study because this is an anticipated outcome based on that. if we can combine funding of vulnerable cohorts and underwriting we can create a student loan system that will fundamentally change how post-secondary education operates today. it needs to be done. it needs to be done now. we have the wherewithal and we have the resource to do it. if you look at the money that is spent in tax credits and tax benefits in the existing student
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aid system there is more than enough money to do it. it just takes they will for the fundamental remediation of the program. thanks very much. [applause] >> thanks you,, dick. rich. >> before by red pill and david's new book i sat down and listed what i thought were the three biggest shortcomings of american higher education. thinking i would compare my list with tears after i read the book. my further shortcoming by the way not to price and lay was american higher education is extremely costly and burdening students anonymously and leading to a student debt crisis of increasingly serious magnitude. second i think american higher
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education involves remarkably little learning with teachers koska students and even buildings being grossly underutilized. many students fail to graduate from college and too many that do are not much better critical thinkers or acquire much more knowledge or virtue than they did as freshmen. and third i think the overproduction of college graduates and related pathologies such as the proliferation of student topics of little relevance to the world of work has created massive underemployment of college graduates and caused a general decline in the financial rate of return on college education. then i read, "is college worth it?". interestingly the authors reach exactly the same conclusion as i did.
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making me wonder why i was not a co-author. [laughter] the evidence is overwhelming. i should have been. i am sighted enough in the book. [laughter] >> you settle for royalty. [laughter] >> the evidence is overwhelming and to my way of thinking irrefutable. colleges are too costly, students are learning too little and the employment prospects of graduates are increasingly disappearing. what i liked like most about the book however is the way it is written and the arguments to which he speaks. admit the factual case convince a bully but literally using a nontechnocrat at writing style with the average moderate citizen contemplating attending college can understand. it is filled with real-world
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examples of some of the tragic results of higher education shortcomings such as individuals with huge debts living in their parents basements with huge seemingly unending financial albatrosses around their necks. the authors thank the current situation is unsustainable and that big changes coming to higher education. early indicators already point to that. in 2004 onto 68% of those going on to college went to four-year schools. 68%. eight years later in 2012, that had fallen by over 11 percentage points to 57%. four-year colleges are too costly so people are starting to look to lower-cost alternatives. in 1970, of less than 1% of our nations taxi drivers had a
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college degree. today more than 15% do. on sunday at d.c. taxi driver, this is anecdotal evidence which is to say a nonrandom sample, on sunday at d.c. taxi driver told me that he had a bachelor's degree from georgetown and more recently a nursing degree to become an r.n. but he can't get a job in either of the areas that he studied and so he is driving a cab. as stories like this become more and more common perspective students are trying -- starting to turn away in big numbers from traditional higher education in spite of the data. you don't need a bachelor's degree to drive a taxi or to mop floors or those 115,000 -- the pill was talking about. burkey governance and other
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problems so many mediocre liberal arts colleges and secondary quality state universities increasingly face the prospects of extinction. creative destruction is coming to higher education. with a vengeance. bill and dave make that point beautifully in this great new book. now i think higher education reform will revolve around 3i words, the information, the incentives and innovation. much of the modern dysfunctionality in higher education reflects massive information gaps which bill and david are trying to help build with this book. colleges in the information business are notoriously reluctant to provide information about themselves. colleges have lacked incentives to make cost reducing changes that typically involve
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innovation. federal funding has fueled an academic's arms race that puts a premium on spending money and lowering productivity not raising it. so as traditional higher education loses market share what will be the substitute for traditional schools? new technologies promises to reach what i call the honda civic segment of the education market. those who want high-quality learning at a lower price. the best example but there are some trade schools offering vocational training to specific schools that are now moving. we need more electricians welders and long-distance truck drivers but fewer anthropologists or women's studies majors. one of the virtues of having tenure is you can say anything you want. the only virtue of tenure. education is both an investment
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and a consumptive good and the harvard's and williams of the world will survive protected by vast endowments. it is a lowly private school in doubt private schools with marginal reputations and similar counterparts in this public sector that are the most vulnerable. plato allegedly said in bill tell me if i'm right. necessity is the mother of invention and even in the short months since bill and david finished writing their book new ideas are evolving. only yesterday the educational s creating a quote proficiency profile an electronic certificate offer to those doing well on a test that critical thinking reading writing and mathematics. a second certificate will be issued to those doing well on a digital technology related test.
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new screening devices that certify employment competency are evolving. certificates that cost $100 or $200 instead of the prevailing 100,000 or $200,000. in a 200 page book you can't deal with everything this is not a book for policy wonks that want extensive critiques of public policy. a more comprehensive treatment of the ailments of higher education would need to deal with some of these issues. let me just mention for briefly to point out that there are some things we don't talk at shevell. first a majority of officers outside the sciences are doing research of sub marginal use to anyone. nearly three papers are published daily on william shakespeare for instance. why? why not incentivize professors
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to teach more? second, the reason government browbeating of the for-profit colleges has been excessive with rules being proposed for that sector that if extended to public institutions would lease to the public of literally hundreds of public schools. the poor for-profit industry owes its existence to the dysfunctional dude and a program to be sure and it does have something of an uneven record of accomplishment but it has proven itself highly efficient in delivering decent quality education from both conventional and electronic means. it hopefully will play a significant role in the evolution of american higher education. third, the accreditation system in the u.s. is broken and needs radical change something in our authors were moderately silent about. for the, the scandals and increasing costs associated with big-time intercollegiate
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athletics has finally reached the point where they are starting to impose real burdens on american higher education. in general however the errors of omission are minor. and the errors of commission are nonexistent. this is a marvelous book. quite frankly not quite equal of say plato's republic or even king lear but it's still pretty darned good. to bill and to david congratulations on a great book. to those investing or considering to invest in post-secondary education for yourselves or your children or your grandchildren, walk -- run concord do not walk to your bookstore to get your hands on this book. you will not regret it. thank you. [applause] >> thank you rich and thank you to all the panelists for gerd great presentation.
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i want to give till and david a chance to respond if they would like to any of the points made by dick and rich. do you want to start david? >> i think one thing that was alluded to was everyone feels like they need to get into college because the k-12 system is broken. i don't think with the looks too hard to see that it's broken. our test scores on the national assessment of educational progress have basically remained flat since the early 1980s and a lot of low income and minority for groups have underperformed significantly. if anyone remembers around christmastime there is a commercial done by target, the big retailer and it was a montage of students opening up their college education for college acceptance letters and in fairness it was very touching and they were all celebrating wildly. but then it flashed on the
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screen and said every kid deserves this chance and that is why target is giving $1 billion to higher education by 2020 or something like that. my reaction was why aren't we saying okay every kid deserves the chance to graduate high school and get a good job? i think it moves on, a lot of people i think in america in general and i don't know necessarily in education policy but america in general have moved on with the idea for deeming k-12 in the way that i think now especially with the rise of technology and blended learning so i think that is one thing in particular that stuck out to me. >> thank you. though. >> the criticisms are fair with the exception of intercollegiate sports. i will be spending part of the fall on college campuses alabama at texas a&m and i'm sorry.
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there are serious questions here sec football is very hard to beat an impact no one beats them. we can talk about that but one question i have you may know the answer to which his overall and in all the answers going to be different due intercollegiate athletics let's say at the big laces are the places i just mentioned are they drained or do they bring in money? >> at the big places the big 10's the schools and using a narrow accounting framework are pretty much break even an arguably with some of the spillover effects that they have a positive effect trade the problems are at other schools. the total subsidies and ncaa schools by the ncaa definition division one is 3.2 billion which is 1.2% of the budget. it's not a huge item that at some schools it's a thousand dollars a head and the kids are
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paying and student sales. that's a pretty big burden. >> i'm just thinking that this could go on forever but i just think education from john wooden or mike scioscia ski might be better when you get sociology majors for four years. >> and a argument with me on that. >> dick are rich and the other further points before we open it up or questions? okay. ladies and gentlemen it's time for you to be able to ask questions. let me remind you how this will work. we have the microphone here. please wait for the microphone to get to you. tell us your name and your affiliation. ask your question. if you feel a sudden urge to make a speech before asking your question the chair will remind you it's time to ask the question. i think i have a question right
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here. >> hi. i am with the snr institute and i am a small liberal arts school religious studies major which is probably around classics right now with the job market. i am hearing this discussion and i definitely understood a lot of these points as i am already overwhelmed by the debt that i know is coming to me within the next 12 months but i am wondering about some of the other values that i think i got from me college education such as critical thinking personal relationships with professors who brought these experiences that are more developmental rather than just the statistical but my paycheck is going to be after college. >> do you want to take that? >> let me take that and you
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might want to comment on the classics connection. you pay your money and take your choice but what we want is a better informed consumer so you know what you're getting. i went to williams college and i was a scholarship student. i have loans and part of the money. i majored in philosophy went to grad school in philosophy. i had a $900 stipend by first-year graduate school in texas. i ate one meal a day. it was all i could afford at l. taco or something. i 1-800-refried beans and walked out in the texas sun at 2:30 in afternoon and fell down on the sidewalk. when i finish my school in 1971 i owed $26,000. what would that be in today's dollars? 150. that is a lot of money. regrets then? none. i loved it and i didn't care.
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i was going to crack those credit dialogs and figure this business out the meaning of life. i loved it. i never had a moment's regret and decided to do as much as i could do to pay off the debt as quickly as i could. i'm sure it had to do with my decision not to get married early. i didn't marry until i was in my 30s and that could have an impact there but i knew what i was doing. we don't discourage people from doing it. in fact one of the arguments in the book that richard counted exactly right is we think most colleges fail on both counts. they don't give you the value for your dollar and they don't give you the opportunity to get a job for the most part and if they want to take the high road and say to save your soul and enlarge your mind then start trying to save souls and enlarging minds but i don't think most of us do that because another topic in a different place. the debates on the humanities
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which to me was the beginning of life itself. i could just not get enough of this philosophy and i was willing to pay and pay four years but as long as you know what you're getting and as long as they are being honest. one of the things you hinted at both of you is these catalog copies. it's an irony as richard points out and by the way is higher education worth it. .. the better guide to higher education. would that work? a better guy or a better diet either one. for all the information that they put out often they don't tell the truth and you know i think most of us majoring in philosophy are not going to be a live find a good job. a lot of this in college would have said fine. i'm an independent thinker. fine, that's the bravaro of a 19-year-old but okay.
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go into it with your eyes open. the catalog should stop lying. >> the underlying importance of what was said. i have a marvelous memory when i was a philosophy student of the surgeon and soon surgeon and soon-to-be head of the state medical society who would also one day you my father-in-law coming in while i was waiting to pick up his daughter for a date. and he was saying to me in a casual way well, so what do you think you can make as a philosophy major? [laughter] it was a fair question but i didn't care in those days just like hell. i fully agree to key thing is to know what you are doing. we mentioned parallels to the housing bubble and the college costs bubble. the flow of credit in both cases great intentions from the government. both housing and college has pushed up the cost and in both
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cases the most important thing is to know what you are doing. and talking about mortgage loans i was told people who is making the most important decision about getting a mortgage loan isn't the lender. you can pay for the house of your dreams and that's fine as long as you know what you're doing. the point to make about college is exactly the same and exactly right. the question over here. >> good afternoon. i have a quick side question. is college really worth it for those that are aspiring entrepreneurs or business owner's? in other words if you know what your career is going to be any
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trade environment or a high-tech business is college really worth it statistically speaking? >> i think that is one of the great financial calculations of becoming an entreprenentrepren eur. am i going to forego this experience to do that one? life is often the best teacher of those things and i think it's absolutely true when it comes to starting a business and building up a business and things like that. you look at steve jobs mark brook and bill gates. there was no value add it for them of college but i'm sure there are thousands of individuals across the country who has said the same thing about themselves and have the next big idea and it didn't pan out. so in one sense college absolutely might be a great fallback if your idea doesn't work out and you can be a computer program -- computer
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pro-grammar for google googler apple or whatever and have a great career. you may not be the next great silicon valley entrepreneur but it's a financial calculation. the one thing we talked about in the book and i don't know how it is for many people but the founder of paypal scholarships he recruits the top students in the country like harvard doesn't he pays them to work with him and the other students. they get paid to go. they make a deal where teal and the company get a percentage of what these young people make as a result of this experience. it's investing in human capital and it's an interesting idea. one and it do to david wants me to tell quickly, after graduate school i went to law school harbor golf school. i lived in the dorm and it became known as the college
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proctor which is kind of funny. people were disaffected and wanting to leave college and i told them they were probably better off to stay. one of my freshman graduated in medical school and became a proctor. he one of them was a entrench a tent and couldn't talk him into staying said john asked me to talk to this young man bill gates. i talked to him and talk to them and he just kept saying i have this thing i want to do and find the i in frustration told my friend let him go. [laughter] i thought of a good argument. if you are smart aren't you going to make the idea of better surrounded by a good faculty? this was something that i went to on my own. i said fine, good luck. you will never hear from me again. >> i don't know.
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someone in in the audience may have empirical evidence. it's a probabilistic world and there are risks associated with anything you do but i think there is a class for whom with the entrepreneurial spirit and the entrepreneurial drive and basically high levels of cognitive abilities to begin with. that can thrive outside of the additional college environment. it's not for everyone and indeed i think it's for a few. most entrepreneurs don't succeed and it's a high-risk venture. >> it's probably choose that the aggregate of all entrepreneurial edgers are negative. bill, go ahead. >> the bell curve, not the book but the actual bell curve. jon stewart bell says any standard will work if any idiocy can be joined with it.
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genius the zuckerberg the gates of jobs it works anyway. madison didn't learn it all at princeton. madison just knew a lot and read a lot here this book isn't written for those folks and arguably they some evidence or more i could tell from reading the jobs book and other profiles of successful people you should live in a ranch house in california and use your garage and play the guitar with the machines and you will make -- much more likely in college and statistically they may be true. but just kidding. >> hi i just wanted to thank you all for being here today and giving this presentation. i have a question for bill and by the way i also used -- two questions for bill bennett. you were talking about the liberal arts education and how it changed and i was curious to know how it had changed and how
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do you think this has impacted students in terms of their ability to get a job? my second question is you seem to in my opinion over and for size the economic benefits of an education but underemphasized ability to think the which in my humble opinion is the primary reason for going to college. yes it's important to make a living and we all live in the real world and we have to make money but i think the ability to think critically would elevate our society to a different level. my second question is for richard. >> of the questions you get for the moment. >> i just want to ask one other panelists. >> just weighed in i will come back to you. >> very quickly it has been so debased and narrowband
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professionalized and deconstructed. we have the sense that we were studying shakespeare and the philosophers that we are engaged in critical thinking that we were learning to think big about big questions and our thinking about these things would help us in the world. we were not thinking that we could make up any text that we wanted, that we were engaged in this great socratic enterprise about life. you entered into a dialogue. he didn't just too fancy intellectual footwork paid he left the dialogue. if i ran a college and wouldn't let people major in anything they wanted great if was my college i would say you have to pass through certain things in there are certain books that you have to read if you're going to be an educated person because i believe in not that then i wouldn't have a catalog that says you can do it anyway you
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want an major in anything you want. you can borrow as much money as you want because that would be a lie. the second part was? >> the second part was emphasizing the economic and if it's over critical thinking. >> look, as richard commented you know we said in the book this is what the customers say they want trade you may wish to run a college if you go to st. johns college and say fine but you are going to read all the great looks. too bad. that's the way we do it but 88% of the students this is their number one priority and you present here so than say we will get you there and then get them there or be more truthful about it. >> now you have a fast question for richard. >> the last question for richard vedder. i'm just curious why do you think that women's studies broke rams don't have value?
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>> i knew i was going to get in trouble with that one. i didn't say they didn't have value. i said that people graduating in women's studies and bill and david in that hook have empirical evidence from pay scale.com that says women's studies graduates and gender studies graduates latin american studies graduates don't on balance are in a lot of money. that doesn't mean they have no value. there is both a consumption and an investment value to higher education. you can go to college for as many years as you want and take courses. i studied french literature for a year in france. it has done me utterly no good location only but i'm glad i did it. if you want to major in women's studies, a fine but there is a public policy issue of two women's studies graduates who
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are in women's studies are they thinking they will earn money and there may be even a public policy issue that policymakers want to discuss on how much public subsidy should be make on private consumption of people whether it be women's studies or basketball or anything else. why should the government be paying for people to live their consumption rate when they don't do it for a six pack or a bucket , could the guy who has a lunch bucket that works in the steel mill. we don't do anything for him and why should we do it for the college yuppies? >> do we have another question? wait for the microphone please. >> my name is adrian and i'm a ceo and founder of an on line program for high school and college students and i'm also an entrepreneur and a stanford grad
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i wrote down my question. knowing colleges are slow to adapt but students will still likely go to college at least in the near future what is in your opinion the best way to maximize their return on the college investment and whether students need to take a very different approach to college than their parents in terms of focusing around practical skill acquisition and job placement in what is the role of career prep at the high school level to allow students to be more empowered in figuring out a way of aligning the general education system towards those and career goals? >> i want to give dick george a. chance to tackle this question. >> one of the things the book ends with is the impact technology will have on the transformation academy and i think clearly if you can fix accreditation which is as broken as the financial aid system itself, we could move much more
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rapidly and most of you are probably familiar with badges. i think a competency -- competency-based education we are going to seep edges that are developed to assess competencies in multiple fields of endeavor including entrepreneurial skills and if you can imagine a badge that is awarded by a consortium silicon valley companies recognizing entrepreneurial skills that adage may be worth far more than a computer science degree or an mba. i think as we can more rapidly move into competency-based education and a four year based designation of skill sets for badges that will be one of the most important things in the technological transformation of the academy going forward. >> that's not unlike an old-fashioned apprenticeship
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program which is talked about. i want to take more question. i want to go way to the back. we have given the people in the front an unfair advantage. >> jerry meyer of st. johns university. st. johns college. this is a different one. yeah basketbalbasketbal l. we talk a lot about outstanding student loan debt. what do you think should be done because you really cannot discharge this under any circumstances. these deaths are ultimately paid for by the taxpayer so is it unjust to forget that but then how does that stand in the strong tradition of bankruptcy we have in this country? what do do we do with the death of tardy off there? >> it's unjust to forget it and that sounds kind of horrible but this was a private decision made when someone decided to take advantage of the public subsidy. it was a calculated investment that hasn't worked out so well. now, what can someone do who
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finds himself many thousand of dollars in debt and doesn't want to be there? there is still more education. on the one hand that is how people get even even more in foreign debt and get themselves in bad places but if you are a sociology major $60,000 in debt and decide you don't really want to be there there's the colorado school of mines for you. go get a degree in mineral or petroleum engineering and get out there in north dakota where the average salary has increased by 40% since 2009 because of the oil and natural gas boom out there. i think it's a tough question. i don't think we should be in the business of forgiving student loan debt. there is a personal responsibility element there that is orthodox. >> i agree with david it's a matter of public policy but unfortunately we are the owner. we have public service loan
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forgiveness and we have teacher loan forgiveness. we have a myriad of loan forgiveness broke rams already and anybody else that is struggling with debt is potentially eligible for income-based repayment which at the end we forgive the debt. i think the unfortunate answer is we have built-in alternatives to a critique if you charge and that's simply a reality and talks of those forgiveness programs that are cycled back and paid for by the other participants in the program. >> i think a really important message of the book end of this discussion is made clear and truthful about what we are doing. with simple truths like the two-thirds of the people are having post-secondary education and it cannot be that all of them will make over the median income. that is math and get what you hear every time you read some
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popular article you will make more money than half the people at least if you get an education. we have to be precisely honest about what we are doing and about what is consumption and what is investment and what are like investments to be and what does it really mean to be in debt dischargeable or not? i think this book is a really strong set of steps forward in getting more clear-eyed with ourselves as a society but what's going on here. as was this discussion today so let's thank our excellent panel. [applause] ..
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>> very often as what you see as the causes of the first lady
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become so entwined with her image that she keeps that cause and that image throughout the rest of her life. we can talk about the commitment to mental health, and we can talk about barbara bush and her commitment to literacy and her foundation. betty ford and her commitment to sobriety and addiction. >> nond night, historians richard gordon smith, and edith may owe, preview "first ladies," featuring 21 first ladies looking at the private lives and public roles monday night at nine eastern on c-span, c-span radio, and c-span.org. >> next, a profile of the union city new jersey public school system. once one of the worst in the state, uc berkeley professor talks about how focus on early
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childhood education helped the system that now graduates 90% of the high school students. this just over an hour. >> creation and eventually wind down the court decisions, and it's clear i'm not an educator, and i didn't know what to do, but, fortunately, i spent time in union city, and i had discovered that even though this is hudson county, even though this is -- that this was a story that needed to be told, and i used union city as the example for the other districts, and thank god for union city otherwise i wouldn't have known what to do otherwise. david and i had here tonight to
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talk about this very important book. it is very important to union city, but this is a book important for the whole country, and in talking about it, i want to start with a pizza party, a pizza party that took place today in washington school; is that right? >> that's right. >> we have the scholar awe thoor from california who came to union city to throw a pizza party, and i'd like the scholar author to explain himself. david? >> i was lucky enough to spend a year here in new jersey, a transformative experience for me. a lot of the time, i was in washington. when i was told i was going to be in washington elementary school and spread the news with the architects of the transformation, he said, god,
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union city is confident. it's one of the elite schools, and i spent a lot of time in room 210 in ms. molly's 3rd grade classroom with kids -- [applause] , and, aleah, would you stand up? that was where i was mr. david to the kids. i'm sure -- 8th graders -- 8-year-olds are passionate folks. i was mobbed so much that we would work, okay, table one, you mob mr. david, and table two, go mob mr. david, and a pizza party was a tradition, and so today, you know, i was doing a public tv show, and i'm here tonight with, in a lot of ways, the best part of the day was the pizza party i threw for the kids are now 5th graders, and who i'll
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stick around for a while. the story i tell in the book starts there, and it works up the ladder, and it starts there because the very heart of what any good school system has to do is connect talented teachers, engage students in a challenging curriculum. that's the nub. everything else builds out from there. that's why i was there. it's where the emotional bond was formed, but, as you know, i roam far and wide beyond that school, andive the pleasure of writing about it in this book. >> so, this is a very stubborn topic in american life. it's been something that is why aren't we doing a better job of
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educating kids from poor families when they go to school with other kids from poor families? we talked about this for a half century. there's been thousands of books written about it, scores of commissions formed to analyze and report on it, and there have been as sandy mentioned, lots of silver bullets proposed, and teachers and principles, and city school districts, there's a new fad every 18 months that comes from washington or trenton saying this is an answer. this seems to be the work and practice and octoberives nobody can argue with. why is it worth the book to point out it's platitudes.
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>> i thought about calling it, "tortoise beats hear" because it's telling a story not told in a long time. if you -- it's about magic bullets, and the schools, no account teachers, and let's bring in teach for america clubs, open up charter schools in the district, and that's the model, the idea that's been propagated for the last decade plus under republican administration and a democratic administration. it is just the latest in a series of silver bullets overredded up, and you can just change the structure and everything else changes, but i
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think what union city teaches is -- or reminds us that -- is that there are a handful of time-tested, well-proven, well-established game changing strategies the school district can be done, and i'll say a word about that in a minute. why write about it? people forgot or took it for granted. it is almost like platitude, and any incompetenter with -- educator with a pulse will nod their head and say, sure. the trick is actually going from saying, yeah, that's a great idea to making it happen. in union city, you start with amazing preschool systems, and i know you are here someplace or another. where are you, suzie? [applause]
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i spent a fair amount of time in your class, and i walked in there, and i thought, why am i not three years old? this is so much -- this is so cool. i mean, anything, any kid, whatever age, might want to do is there, and i watched a lesson, last time i was there, a lesson, and for those of you where it's not a familiar word, it's potato pancakes, and it's a hanukkah tradition, a jewish hanukkah tradition, and the kids read a story about an old lady who is making them, it's a great story, to prep themselves for this, but the lesson was these kids, these three and four year olds will make them on a real honest to god stove, but every aspect of that lesson, you know, from the picking up of the potato to smelling the potato,
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did they like it, the onion, what did it feel like, change when you cook? a big spoon, that's a tablespoon, that little spoon is a teaspoon. everybody had a hand chopping the vegetables, chopping the onions, and the "p" sound in piment torks s is the same "p" sound in pepper. what do you think happens when we put this in a food processer? let's find out. they are teachers. i spent most of the time teaching, dreaming of teachable moment, and every sect of that lesson is a teachable moment, and i came back, roamed around visiting other classrooms, and they were ready, diewcht to try them? i said sure, i took the plate, and i grabbed it, and sour cream and apple sauce, traditional
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things that you serve so what do you think was also served with these? salsa, and let me tell you, salsa improves them. [laughter] i'm giving up on apple sauce and substituting salsa. when people focus on systems, politics, focused on adult games, they their power play games, and i don't know if you know this, but in los angeles there's a school board election, thank goodness, by the way, there's not elections here so you don't have to go through that and $4 # million was spent to defeat one candidate who was questioning the endless growth of charter schools and wondered if they should be evaluated on
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the basis of students' test scores. in a world where that adult game playing where the kids are forgotten is what the conversation looks like, where people talk about the market as a model as though selling education is like, you know, selling ipads, it's an old and neglected story that needs to be revived, and one other thing, it's a celebration of yinon city, but not just union city that did so well, but i looked around the other country in other districts no one knows about, and we hear of aldean, texas? aldean is houston's poor cousin. scrubby country, about as poor as union city, latino, african-american, spattering of white folks, and with half as
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much money union city spends on its kids, they are doing well, narrowing the achievement gap, and what are they doing? very much the same kinds of things union city is, and what is that? start with preschool, work up the curriculum. if there's a lot of kids from other countries, you better have a good bilingual program, a rich bilingual program that pays attention to language fluency and how they do in academic subjects. today it's bilingual, tomorrow english only, that happens in so many districts, especially in california. there's esl classes, day one. here kids transition slowly. this school district knows what educators know. that is it's really important to get a grounding in your home language before learning the second language. really important to hold on to
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that home language because being bilingual in the society is a huge advantage. a lot of the kids in union city come from homes where there are not a lot of books around, where the parents are working all the time, and they make the meals, take care of the kids, but they don't have time to read to them. there's not a whole lot of rich language, so soak them in words, great stuff to read, lots and lots of writing, all sorts of writing. you want to get kids beyond the mad, bad, sad, glad vocabularies, all the rich words they have? in other places, the teachers in the audience, administrators know well, teachers are basically a punching bag.
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that's a sad, i think, immoral story that teachers are used for short term political gain. i think it does a great disservice here there are assessments of students to serve two purposes, pin point where kids have problems. you know just where student needs to be helped. they pinpoint where teachers who are struggle have problems, and so they provide information that will help the schools help the teachers get better. there's a lot of talk of how america needs to bring in teachers from elite schools, ought to be from the top of the classes, and most of the folks in union cities are lifers, that is to say grew up round here,
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moved here as kids from cuba or greece or someplace else, but here, once here, stayed, within 50 miles of the place, went to local schools that nobody outside of east coast knows anything about, and when i go into the classes, i see okay teachers. i see a lot of very good teachers, and i see amazing teachers, teachers that deserve to be on a documentary of good teachers. that happened because of coaching, mentoring, and teachers working together. that's another part of the story. you've got principals who build a dumbture out of the building so they are not working in isolation, but they are working together. you got a central administration that is figuring out how to create out of system of schools, people do their own thing, a school system with a common
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curriculum so if they move from one neighborhood to another, again, the kids get what's going on in school, and it's a curriculum in which teachers in the system major hand in shaping so there's ownership in the curriculum, and educators in the room will know about these meetings called face-to-face meetings. twice a year, knowing reactions suggesting that, they know all to well about face-to-face meetings. twice a year, every -- top administrators come, spend a morning or afternoon with the principal and chief administrators in the school, and the discussion is always the same, where have you been, where were you when we last talked, what's going on now in the school, what's working, and where do you need to go? there's a great crime line up,
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-- curriculum. plan, do, review. face to face meetings are great preschool curriculum, applying it to how they run it, and they talk about continuous improvement. you keep your eye on the ball, keep focusing, keep paying attention. you're never, ever done. the school system got better and better and better slowly, so folks in new jersey knew about the system. a lot of folks in new jersey knew about the system before, but now a lot of people will know, and what they are going to learn, i hope, is tortoise beats
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hare. at the face-to-face, john presented a lot of the data, very characteristically, well organized, impressive, impepble presentation. then sandy sanger said, david, you've been around for a while, do you have anything to say? that caught me by surprise, but seldom at a loss for words, found something to say, which was, union city is -- union city high is a great urban high school. that's wonderful. i want to come back here in five years and hear people talk about union city as a great high school. no excuses; right? for the fact it's poor tough, a great high school, and everything about the high school says that it's well on its way. it takes a long time, and it
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takes one more thing, and that is the engagement of the community of the mayor who never sleeps, mayor whose phone number you find in the book. there's hands on the business cards, you might as well have it at hand. [applause] driving around the city, what an interesting area, what's the plaza there? it's all because of the mayor effective here, very effective in trenton, talks about schools as bragging rights in trenton, brings home the bacon like we're in the middle of. not bad. you got a community. that is engaged in the schools.
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you go back 25 years ago, and people would have talk about union city as a case study of how to fail urban latino kids. students did so badly comeekly, the state was about to take over the school. it was about to do to union city what it just did to camden this week. that's history that probably most people, many people in this room don't know because it took all that planning, system building, to get from here to there, and that took a supportive political world and very engaged community. you know, there's many, many different groups in this town. i was saying to my visitor, yeah, all the latino cultures in the hemisphere here, but there's
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a jewish community; right? you have a muslim community in this town. she's like, really, in this little place? yeah, lots is going on. lots goes on in union city, and the measure of people's commitment to the school, good part to do with the parent liaisons. they know every one of those families and every one of those kids. the kid comes into the school late, and maria's on the phone to mom, what's going on? something happening there. if a parent can't afford a winter coat, is having problems getting a green card, needs help with housing, they know they can go to maria. at the september parents' night, the first time, first month i was here, it was pouring. it was one of those really -- umbrella useless kinds of nights, and i thought nobody's coming to parents' night.
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well, there was not an empty seat in the washington school. i would guess 8 o-90% of the kids had a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, someone close to the child there. that's key. that just didn't happen. good teaching just didn't happen. great early education didn't just happen. before working with sandy is to build, to realize how important early education was at a time when a lot of superintendents and other places, said, oh, that's just baby citying. they figured it out early that that's the essential starting point, plan, do, review. keep developing. keep changing. keep adapting. keep working. it's a process. it's -- what's the secret? there is none. the secret is do the work. it's hard, tough work.
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you know the music. you can read the music, now play it. >> david, you're a dangerous person, i think. [laughter] here you are after a national conversation that emphasized that school districts cannot be trusted. urban districts in particular are not to be trusted, they can't do the work. they are just bureaucrats who stumble to get over each other and send out memos that nobody pays attention to and don't deal with problems of the kids or teachers, and now you say the district has got to be central in changing the way schools work? without the district taking leadership providing the data, comparative data, working with teachers, developing the curriculum in the teachers, figuring out what works with kids and what doesn't, this is dangerous stuff you're talking
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about. >> you're right. you can't do it from remote control. you can't do it by fiat from trenton or washington. if there is not respect, though, if there's not the dedication and the commitment, it's not going to happen. i certainly don't want to say you can leave any school district on its own and life is great. were it otherwise, camden would not be in the fix it's in today, but i do think my experience is that if you place trust and confidence in people, and you're willing to help them that they are more likely not to rise to the occasion. we don't have a choice. there's -- people talk about charter schools like the magic bullet. there are great charter schools.
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the kip schools do a great job of educating kids, but they educate a fraction of a fraction of 1% of the kids in the country. charter schools don't do better or worse than public schools overall, but the more important point is that they don't have the bandwidth. you can't build -- you can't educate 60 million kids, 60 million kids and consider it a charter school. we don't have any choice. we have to rely on public schools. one of the ironies is all the people -- i hope i'm a pleasant threat to them, at least, not a vicious threat, all those folks who say, look at what's going on in finland, singapore, korea, norway, wherever they want to point, and they talk about charter schools and market values, they forget that every one of the places they like has a very strong public school system and the best of them trust teachers and trust
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schools. ed to do the right thing by the students and give them the help and support and respect that they are entitledded to and enables them to do the job. i'm kind of hoping that we've been living through a trend time, another one of those panacea moments, hold teachers' feet to the fire and see what happens, but, you know, that -- that victory of that school board guy in los angeles, out spent four to one. he wins this election. he beats, and, by the way, they were contributed by michael bloomberg, and now that he's leaving new york, he wants to be mayor of los angeles. what bloomberg care about a los angeles school board election? the fact that candidate was anal -- able to win, that incumbent
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asking the right questions was able to win, that's important. there's a fact that is inspiring or aspiring, a friend close to mine read the book and said, you know, duncan, the secretary of education, he would agree with every word in the book. that's inspiring in one book, nice to know somebody else shares the values, but it's depressing because if this is what he believes, why is he doing what he's doing? [applause] >> i think the commissioner of education in new jersey would agree with every word in the book too, and has stated publicly at times that high quality, early childhood is important and pays off, and, yet, in terms of what it emphasized, regulations written,
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and the sense that it's spread out is not at all in that direction. [applause] >> i can't tell if they are applauding or what -- [laughter] well, here's -- don't fall into a policy trap. >> no. >> because the trap is to believe that tomorrow is going to be just like today only a little bit more so. i take you back to ancient history, january 2011, and if i told you that a merchant fed up with the corruption of the government in that society, set himself op fire bringing down the tunisia government and ignite a revolution across the arab countries, you would have carted your way to the academic equivalent of the loonie bin.
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that what happened. that's how change happen. that's how no child left behind happened. it was a big change. i hope that this book, you know, and what i have to say in talking about the book is that it just puts a finger on the scale, the other side, a finger that speaks to the importance of teaching, learning, and good curriculum, that core of the story that the reformers have seemed to have forgotten about. >> educators responsible for other urban districts that nothing really happens educationally until first grade, and that this supervised play is nice and it helps with babysitting problems and working parents, and that's what preschool is. overcoming that point of view, which, i'm afraid, is widespread
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in the educational communities is a very important step. >> i hope there's -- i fear that's true. i hope it's becoming less true. i wrote a book called "sand box investment," about the importance of preschool, and i was asked to give a talk to a bunch of school board members and superinten didn'ts in california, and one says, if we make preschool a part of the program, how do we get the teachers to be as good as the regular teachers? i said, you know, great preschoolteachers are the best teachers in the world. the real question is are they able to teach your teachers how to do a better job teaching? one of those a hot moment, and i was talking to the county superinten didn't who -- superintendent who invited me
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there, and she said people are still talking about that. here's one thing union city does that's important in that regard. preschool, it does preschool really well, but with all of the testing pressure, the concern was the kindergarten was the new first grade, turning into test prep. you had kids lined up in rows, and one problem was that kids were snot standing for it. they were problem solvers. they worked in groups. being quiet all the time was not a good idea. they acted out. teachers thought, what revolution are they fermenting in preschool and the system? the system turned that around on its ear. the people -- the master teachers that -- the teachers in the preschool work for a whole community network, private, nonprofit, forprofit, city-run preschools to create a system, those master teachers went into the kippedder gartens working with the teachers so now you got
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good kindergartens because they look more like preschool. here's a little secret that i would share with these folks. good education is preschool education made developmentally appropriate for older kids. that's the best. [applause] >> when you walk into a union city classroom, kids work in small groups than you are to see the teacher standing in front of the whole class, and that's a difficult thing to teach, isn't it? it's difficult to break a habit that is created in schools of education and ordained by supervisors and principals in a lot of places; right? it is hard. when -- >> when kids break up into groups, but if there's five to six groups in the class, you
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know, the computer's going to break down, or, you know, you can't get this piece of equipment working or some of the blocks are missing, and doing those exercises, and some kid is acting out you got to have eyes in the back of your head and all around your head. it's tough, but i think what happens is some teachers really never get it. it is tough. i appreciate that. for many teachers, trying it, a seed they can actually accomplish more that way, and what i found impressive about being here is that going to middle school classes, and going to high school classes and watch the same kinds of group projects going on. there's whole group exercises, of course. a lot more of that. it makes sense. there's a lot of break down in small groups, more discussion, and i didn't see, and i had a passport, i mean, basically, i could go in place, no minders, no one following me around, and
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i never saw a teacher just standing there reading a lecture. talking in the room, but not reading a lecture. i never saw students being disengaged, let alone out of control. that's pretty amazing. think about adolescence and what life is like, supposed to be a scary place. this place is an exciting place, but anything that scary. it's exciting because you really see kids and teachers respecting one another in doing the work together. >> so the last question i'd ask about the fact there's lots of places, city districts where the focus on the language arts test produced a funk, and we're --
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where young american kids, 8 and 9 years old, do well when compared to kids across the globe, but then it breaks down, and it -- it's not true by the time they are 13, and there's a lack of engagement or lack of interest. it's textbook driven, end of chapter, test instruction, and that's what seems different about union city. >> you know, i think it's true, generally. we know a lot less as educators about middle school and high school and what to do well there and do about elementary school. i also think that this moment, i mean, one of the new trends, it's not a bad one as far as trends go, is the -- you got a right to read by the end of third grade, and that's wonderful as far as it goes, and it would work a revolution in many schools, but some of the assumption is the rest of it follows automatically, so something that most people have
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not hung out in classrooms don't know is that the books you read in fourth grade are a whole lot harder than the books you read in the third grade. i have kind of okay spanish. i was perfectly happy reading the fourth grade kids novels. they were interesting. a hundred page novels, no pictures. what a change from the third grade. people just sort of stop saying, look, you've done great. this is part of do the work. you got to keep working the way up the ladder. it becomes harder and harder to persuade teachers and middle school and high school to break out of old ways of doing things. that requires role models, requires tutors, mentors, requires supports of all kinds to make that happen, and it's not going to happen overnight, and it's not going to happen with every teacher. it's never going to be perfect. you know, this high school, it's amazing that 90% of the kids are
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graduating. , and it's they graduate as proficient kids, passing tests, getting out of here, enrolling in college. if you just past the exam, you're a 9th grade student. if you go to college, passed the exam, i can guarantee you you'll wind up in a remedial class. if you're in a remedial class, odds of dropping out are great. it's no secret to the folks around here. this is the next challenge, so it's appropriate to pause for more than a moment and say 90% graduation rate. i don't know another urban regime high school in the country that's close. new york is 62%, 45%, graduation
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rate in new york, 45%, 90%. everybody in this system knows that the story is not over here, that the next step is to set higher and higher expectations, but the students, for the junior sat to become standard fare, not just for kids who say, i know i want to go to a fans silver bullets college, but for all the kids, and i'm not telling tales here. this is something that everybody in the high school knows and appreciates. what's great about it is that people work to make it happen, and when i said to john, that's what i talked about when i said to john, a couple years ago, this is going to be a great high school. there's the will. there's the energy. there is the community commitment, the professional commitment, and there are the engaged kids. there's the mutual respect. there's the trigs.
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all ingredients are here. people come up to me all day today, i did the pizza party, hung out with my girls over in washington high, the teachers, who i got to know well, and the principal there, and when i was over at the middle school, union hill, people said, thank you for writing the book. i want to say thank you back. it was a privilege to be here, a life changing experience to be here, and if i can in a small way take this conversation, not just here, but in other communities across the country and maybe into those offices in washington as well, then i'll have paid back all the care and hospitality i received while here so thank you very much. [applause]
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>> i dare not ask a question after that statement, but i think it's appropriate that we ask members of the audience if there's questions or comments to this, and let me just remind you that this is taped for c-span, so if you have a question, don't ask it until the microphone is in your hands, please. i don't mean to scare anybody, please. [laughter] are there questions? over here. >> just a comment, i'm a teacher here at union city high, proud to teach here, and i really think one reason we're successful is we're like a family, and -- [applause]
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it's so nice to hear your support of us and public schools in regime because charter schools are not the answer. i don't think any charter school can accomplish things we have done here, and we will continue to do, so i really appreciate everything. thank you. [applause] i want to say one remarkable thing about that, about the family nature of this place. there was a lot of students here and teachers remember the pep rally of a year ago, and john was principal, and, you know, there they are, and you get the students shouting, and i thought, what? if we had shouted the name of our principal, there would have been a word before that that i can't repeat in mixed company. [laughter] it really is -- it's a wonderful community. it takes a ton of work to
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maintain it. a ton of love to maintain it, and that's something everybody here gets. >> where you mentioned education is successful around the world, beyond respecting educators, educators are celebrating and put on ped stools and looked up to, and we don't do that well here in new jersey. is that part of the success in this district? >> i think so. it's important when i talk to teachers here, they talk about "their kids," and it's in a sense, their kids. people come from here, grew up here, come from nearby here, and, you know, america has yet to figure out that the kids in
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places like union city are the future, and, you know, the country has a choice, it can provide an awful education for them as so many places do, and we're going to pay the price, not leading great lives, we're not a great economy, or be a strong political system, and i think this place figured out the importance of just that kind of commitment connection to people who are in this community, the kids in this community. that is not -- there's nothing, again, i want to say that again, the book is a celebration of union city, and it's an honest celebration, and there are going to be -- i'm trying to be the critical friend here, so it's not, you know, it's not all roses as you heard my comment a second ago, but it's great in a
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place that's not unique. other places learned the same basic lessons. nobody knows about them. my guess, in those towns, teachers are celebrated as well, and i know how hard it is to teach and how painful it is. what an unbelievably appalling image to use of, you know, folks who really work their tails off, so, yes, i think it's important that the community knows and respects values, good teaching, and good teachers. >> good evening, i'm carroll, and, i'm on the board of the jersey city public school system, and hearing what you said tonight is very reassuring. we have a new superintendent,
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and we think we're on the right track, and if we stay focused and keep on doing basic things you talked about, we have a good chance of turning the system around. my question is, though, how much do the standards change the game as far as challenging curriculum that you talked about? >> well, a word not about jersey city, but school systems in general. a point i didn't make directly is how important it is, and i got the answer, he or she comes in, changes everything, and there's no miracle -- there's another board election, group of insurgents come in, fire the bum, bring in somebody else, and this person has the gold, and
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the average urban school superintendent lasts fewer than three years. you can't do anything in a system as complicated as a school system in they are sitting in the room tonight since 1989, that's 24 years and counting. sandy is not going any place for a very long time. [applause] no superman here, another one of those troops, no superman, just solid, hard working folks who are doing the work, and, you know, a political system and a community system that appreciates that and is patient to see what's happening, so i hope that's true in jersey city as well. the -- you know, in a lot of ways, what's interesting, and interesting is a word that educators want to be a little
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bit shaky about, but interesting to see what the assessments look like developed around common core standards, but the standards themselves are very similar to what it is that you would expect kids to do. if you're in a state where, basically, all the teaching is kind of rogue memization and the test is all multiple choice, as many states, all fact, fact, fact, all math problems, 17 and 34 is how much? that's your third grade problem, you're going to have trouble adapting. you know, i looked at the third grade -- the first high stakes test kids take. they are all word problems. you know? there's not a single numbers problem in the book. it's all word problems. the passages they are asked to read and interpret are stuff. they write three and four paragraph essays in a half hour. you know, if kids are there, you know, and there's many aspects of that testing regime,
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particularly the feddishizing of the tests and amount of energy it drains from good teaching right now, right? when i talked to my kids over in washington school, what's going on, i heard about the math drills, and they were tired of writing because the writing was so formulated. that's too bad. i think new jersey is one of the states best prepared to move in the direction of the common standards. the craziness, one of the crazinesses of no child left behind was that washington said you guys figure out what you want to teach, and we'll beat up on you if you don't do it. it's backwards. all the states got together and said here's what everybody in the country knows because, my goodness, one of my favorite
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third graders is now in iowa. fractions in union city, fractions in des moines, same fractions; right? you know, old man of the sea survives, swims to iowa. that's in now up to the state to bring students along in ways that are not as crazy punitive as now. you'll end this, one of the great things changing is a line of not proficient and proficient goes away, and you talk about how much improvement kids make over time. that makes sense. another secret, no such thing as proefficiency. an egghead in trenton dreamed this up and produced a number. it's 210 today, 190 the day
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after, depends how much they scream. we don't want kids to fail, drop the school, not rigorous enough, raise the score. it's not a magic formula, but what is magic is watching kids do better over time. i think you'll have a miserable time because you got the new jersey, you know, the old tests, new cruck limb, everything going on at once, and i've been sitting in washington, and there ought to be a moratorium for a couple years to get the common core standards and make it happen. [applause] i got confidence that you'll get through this tough time and really rise to that challenge. >> hi, i'm christine, a teacher here at union city high school,
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but i'm also the teacher of the year and union city district teacher of the year. [applause] i want to thank you sincerely because this school is our home and like in your book, if you build it, they will come. well, with a great educational leader like mr. benetti and fantastic administration here, they are just rising a train to the locomotive, and our children are heart and soul in the school, and you captured that in the book, i'm very impressed, thank you. >> can i get you to show this book afterwards? [laughter] will be for sale after outside. >> thank you. >> thank you. i'm a, you know, i'm a professor, but i also have been a journalist, so, naturally skeptical, and i hear -- i heard all good things so i nudged
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around, you know, talked to john, and he said, thank you for saying the nice things, and it was from a lot and lot of folks. i couldn't find anybody that had a bad ward to say about him, you know? that's, for a principal, you know, that's pretty astonishing, and i do think that, you know, you take in a great building, and you, the principal, the staff, the teachers, the kids make a great home out of it. think about the performers we heard tonight, you know, and the drummers outside as you came in, and, apparently, word came to your principal this morning, i want music, i want a celebration. thirty-seconds later, the drum core is out there entertaining us, so it's an amazing place, and all of you, not just the principal, but all of you deserve credit for what it is you've done, and congrat-- [applause] congratulations on your on
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here. that's really something. >> hi, thank you for coming. i'm a parent here in the district. i know your focus is not on failing schools, but we do have a gifted and talented program here, and my question is not so much why is that school succeeding so well because that answer is clear. my question is what is your feeling about the arts integrated nature of the curriculum taught there, and can we get the next leg up in union city seeking to generalize that model? >> well, i will say that, you know, when i was here i thought i would be in the classroom, in
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a school, wanted to be in union hill, hung out with john paul gonzalez, at the freshmen academy, and i wanted to see what was happening, so i didn't spend time in the gifted and talented program, so let me answer your question in generalities. the very -- kids respond to expectations. what is it the brightest kids can do is something that other kids can get excited about. one of the sad consequences of reading and math, and the more drilling there is, the more joyceless the occasion is. the chapter about washington school in the winter and spring
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in the book is calledded "where fun comes to die and be reborn." dyings -- die, right now, not a joyful time to be there. come a day after the exams, the school came to life, totally. yes, indeed, the kind of creativity you can nurture within the school, if woodrow wilson is an incubator for new curricular ideas that spread elsewhere, i think that's great because, you know, it's a school that does represent the highest expectations, and there's no reason they don't be broadly applied. my experience, and whether you teach preschoolers or teaching grad students is that kids are as often as not going to rise to the level of expectations that you set for them, and that's when i think -- i think that's both what the district is doing, and i think that's the continuing challenge in the districts as i celebrate, i'm also nagged to make that happen, and i hope you guys keep
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pushing. >> i'm frank, one of the educators here at union city high school as well, and your book is definitely captured the essence of union city education, but while we are basking in the glow of your book, with all of the other books about education that have been proliferated over several years, do you feel your book, perhaps yourself, are making any end roads with the government processes that control the educational system so that perhaps this can continue and other districts will follow with this as well? >> i think you asked it the right way, that it really is district by district by district, and i think if that's the question, i think that's the right question, the answer is yes, and i say that -- this is really the, you know, we have a kind of session on yesterday at rutgers with a group of state
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public makers and superintendents, and folks from the state off of education and like that, they were engaged to hear the story, hear the generalizations, but what intrigued me were the number of people who said this is really exciting. we would love to talk more with you, love to have you come spend a little bit of time with us, and we are interested in doing something because i think at the district level, this is a moment when educators are interested in rebuilding urban schools and understanding what there is to learn. if you ask the superintendent, he says there's a score of districts from around the region, and increasingly around the country, that want to know what -- how union city is doing what it's doing. they want to know about the port of entry program, how that's working. they may want to know what the gifts and talented program, know about face-to-faces and the
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great preschool program that's been developed out of more than 30 schools, so i do think that place by place, change will happen. will something happen in washington? washington, you know, those guys missed out on the lesson about works and plays well with others, takes their turn, you know, controls their emotions, doesn't act out, uses words, you know, and all that stuff is instilling in kids. i don't know what's going to go on in washington. states, you got a shot of making a difference, but at the local distance, talking to superintendents, school board members, the like, you know, i think so. i think that because -- because i think the story, what i'm telling about union city, and, again, about other places as well, focused on union city, says it's a success story.
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are you putting in the sweat equity to make it happen. those who work hard are willing to make it happen. that's my hope. i write a book like this, and mostly, you know, to be -- it's the entry ticket to a national conversation. about building strong schools, so if i'm useful in other places, if i can get handful of people in other communities across the country to say, we want to try this, talk to others in union city, and talk to gordon because of the work they did, and do a bunch of things, then i've really done -- i've really done my job. the book is -- the book is the first step. what happens as you're suggesting, that's the play. we'll see. fingers crossed. >> hi, i'm warren casey, a
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speech therapist in asbury park, an avid district. i am so excited to be here and to hear everything, and i hear the teachers and talk about being a family, and i work in asbur park for 26 year, and i love everyone i teach with and did everyone get on board, and i love to hear about your administration here that everyone got on board and was all -- we've not had a superintendent stay for longer than two years. i've been there 26 years, and i probably had 12 superinten didn'ts, and i probably had about 15 prince pams, and it's so discouraging, and i love being here, and i'm so happy i met you, but i need some hope. [laughter]
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i have to teach for a very long time still. [laughter] >> if governor christie has his way, longer than you have in mind. >> right, right, exactly. >> you know, i really, you know, i really empathize with you. i was talking to a teacher who's been teaching science and high school in oakland california, a tough town, and she tries her best, and other good teachers, the school falling apart, no leadership, and kids who just csh -- there's a core of kids who want to learn, a core of kids who i can reach, and others are not going to be there. they make life miserable for everybody else. what can i do? i brought that question, you know, to somebody who i think is wiser than i am about education matter, and i said, unless you get the support built into that school, unless that school really becomes connected @ community, that teacher can't do it alone. you can't do it in isolation. let me talk generally about
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unions because one of the things that people are going to say to me is, oh, you know, this is -- this is a district in which the union, seems to me, the union worked closely, hand in glove to make things happen, and i know the one example, i tell you about it, when the kindergarten teachers complain to the union rep, what are the preschoolteachers saying they should be doing? that's wrong, get out of here, you know, that's just wrong. there's some tensions, and what's happened here and what happened in other places where there's strong unions, you know, i think about the sign, new teachers beware, this school district is unfriendly to you. i mean, asbury park looks like
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angels to that; right? [laughter] ten years later, you know, everybody's talking to everybody. it was not easy, be -- but what they did was bring the union to the bargaining table, not just about money, but program and policy. saying you guys are educators, not just, you know, in it for the job security and the rest of it. let's talk through what it is we think we need to do, and more and more that's exciting, and unions become part of the conversation. that's where we are going. that's where we ought to be going; otherwise, you get folks from outside shoving an agenda, you know, down districts throats, so, you know, unions, teachers, the school folks, there's a incidence and reliance there. at the end of the day, there's a book called "kids first," and if you sit down with a bunch of adults in a room, and there's a
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facilitator, and that facilitator says, okay, let's focus on the kids, and like a parrot, focus on the kids, okay. let's go back to that curriculum, teacher, engaged student. let's go back there, build around that. that's why we are here. these are adult games. stop playing games. all the folks in this business are in the business because they want to help kids. unless you run a chain of charter schools, you don't go in business to get rich. there's some, you know, you got to work with that caring and make that caring -- make that caring happen. i do not this, that, you know, that turn, got to figure out ways to stop that churn because this is one thing i know. if you got superintendents coming and going like that, it's not going to happen. the union or the school board
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and administration really needs some kind of hard come to jesus sessions about what it is their are doing and how -- with respect, teachers change lives, but you are wasting the kids' lives because of those adult game, and that's a shame. it's more than a shame, it's really a crime. >> one more question. >> my question is, how come you chose to come to union city high school? >> oh, well, that's a great question. why did i choose union city? it's a semilong story. the last book i wrote is a book about five big ideas, five big policy ideas, one of which was,
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what are the things that are really essential to give kids a decent shot at life? i was not focusing on schools because good rigorous schools, and i went to a guy named steve and ellen, codirectors of a center in rutgers who know everything about early education, and i said, where should i go? go to union city. okay. i believe we'll go to union city. i set off union city, but i didn't go on my own because union city is a clannish place; right? some professor says, hi, sandy, i'm a professor, tell me about your schools. i'm not sure what the reception would have been, but i had a vouch for a guy, and it's this guy sitting over here. he came with me, and he said, basically, he's a good guy, and gordon is somebody who the district knows well and trusts well.
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that's how i got here. i spent time looking at those preschools, and then i knew that up through eighth grade, reading and math test scores were really good so i was in one of the schools that has a -- i was impressed by what i saw, and so i thought, you know, nice thing about being a professor, you get sabbaticals. you get to spend a year doing something else away from home. why not come to back here and spend a year hanging out in union silver city and see what's happening. there's books about great teachers and great schools, but no books about great school systems, and the system is an important part of the story, so to their credit; right? the superintendent, top administration, the mayor, school board all said it's a
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great idea. we're in your hains. they all said, we trust you. go any place that you want. it was a privilege to be here, and i hope i earnedth truces in the book you read. i'll say this, particularly the the -- if you buy the book, somebody as a parent in union city, it's a big deal, you don't like it, let me know, i'll give you your money back, but, you know, i teach policy school, learning about how markets work, and it's not a love letter, but a long letter from a guy who spent a good chunk of time here, didn't know what we were going to get into, really became attached to the place, didn't
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lose my sense of perspective so i knew what to compare union city to the world out there, wrote a book, came back to talk to you, and i'm not going away because i can assure you the folks i came to know here will be in my life for the rest of any life. [applause] thank you. [applause]
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>> we picture june cleaver with a vacuum cleaner or in the kitchen frying bacon for breakfast in her pearls. that image does obscure one of the most important trends, especially for womens in the 1950s, which was that american women labor force participation increased in the 1950s. american women workers, not only did not go home after world war ii, but they increasingly entered the labor market across the 1950s.
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a decade that was powerfully associated with women's domestic ness. >> sunday at 1 p.m. eastern, just part of the three days of the american history tv this labor day weekend on c-span3. >> representative greg walden, what's on your summer reading list? >> i finished "victory lab," do political stuff on the side, and that talks about persuasion, digital data, the world campaigns, and i hope this summer to get to the biography on jefferson, which i have on my pile, and then i have a new one on roosevelt, teddy roosevelt, a big fan of roosevelt, reform movement, his energy, his style, and also i've got one that deals mainly with the time down in south america so it should be interesting. >> let us know what you read this summer, tweet us @booktv,
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post it on facebook, or e-mail us at booktv@c-span.org. >> next, american university professor, john gould doeses accident how to succeed in college while really trying," and discusses how to be successful. this is part of booktv's college series is about ten minutes. >> o on your screen is american university professor john gould, a professor of law at the university, and he's also director of american universities washington institute for public and international affairs, and he's written this book, "how to succeed in college while really trying." who is the book brain for? >> it's really written for two groups of students. it's written for high school seniors who are on their way to college, and it's also written for first year students who come
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to this place and kind of find it somewhat foreign. i guess, i should add, it's written for the parents of all the students as well. >> so if, when you're asked, as a college professor, what will make my son or daughter successful, and what's your short answer? >> my short answer is a sense of independence and responsibility, and that's the kinds of things parent do not want to hear because it means they have to pull back, so with we get them here at college is a chance for them to take ownership of their lives and be responsible for what they need to do, and that is the most important skill for them when they hit our doors. >> what is your responsibility as a college professor to make that successful? >> well, my job is to challenge them. that is something that sometimes people are not quite ready for when they get here. we are not here simply to hold their hands. now, we want a friendly environment for them. this is the kind of place where we want them to feel that it's open to consider new ideas, but
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my job is to take them, give them new ideas, but challenge them it think in new ways they have not before. >> when you meet students, can you now predict who will be successful and who won't? >> oh, no. at first, not at all. the first time, they are all very pleasant -- most of the students we get are going to be successful, so that's the good news, but on the first meeting, no, it's almost impossible to predict who is more successful than others. >> what are some of the down falls from your first year of college? >> well, there's lots and lots of distractions or at any other university, and so that's parole the biggest down fall, which is not paying attention to what they need to do, so not going to class, not getting assignments done, not doing the study, that's the most important thing in terms of making sure that they have the best opportunity to succeed. >> what's the most common question that students ask you?
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>> what's going to be on the test? >> and that simply is not the right question to be asking. >> what they ought to be doing is they ought to be in class on a regular basis, engaging with us in the material. if they are there, if it's part of the this dialogue that we're having day-to-day, they know what's on the test. they will have been a part of the learning experience the whole way think. >> professor gould, has personal technology changed how you teach? >> yeah, it has. it's changed it probably for the bet ergs but a little bit for the d better, but a little bit for the worst. the way it's for the worst, we have to compete with other sorts of calls on students' attention. they come to class with their cell phones with them, their smart phones, and there's a lot of things they can do if they are not excited about class, and we need to compete with that, but at the same time, we can use technologies like skype to bring the outside world into the classroom. we have these giant video monitors now that we can really make some of these things come alive for students and give them
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an opportunity to test what we're talking about in the classroom on these theoretical issues, with what's happening out there in the real world. >> is it important to give students letter grades? >> important for whom? them or for others? i don't know that it really is that important. i don't find it to be as useful as others might, but students want them. they want them because that's what they are used to. that's -- that they've all been competing for that, and they think that's what employers want. frankly, i think we could get a whole lot more out of me writing evaluations of them in a more detailed way talking about their strengths and weaknesses, what they brought to the table, more like a letter of recommendation than a letter grade. >> do you find a difference between students who take out loans, student loans, or students who have their parents pay for it or have -- >> not that, but i do find a
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difference between students who work and those students who don't. so the students who are working, this is their money, right then. students who take out the loan, it is eventually their money, but it's -- to them, it's somewhere in the future. those who are working, they put in the sweat equity right now to get the education, and i think that they are generally more serious students and demand more of all of us in the classroom. >> in your book "how to succeed in college," you have a chapter, a sub chapter, "the liberal ivory tower." can a conservative student -- can a student who is conservative be successful at a harvard, at an american, at a u-engaged? >> oh, absolutely. let's go back and take that term. that term's in the book to dispel the myth. these are not bashtons of
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liberals after conservatives. if i do my job right, any student who comes in here has his preexisting views challenged, when they are a liberal or conservative. those kids are going to be challenged to think about what they really believe in to take in the information we're offering, and to leave with their own view of the world. now, if i do my job right, that's what's happening, and that ought to be both exciting and probably, to some extent, freightenning to students who gnatter -- no matter the political perspective. they need to be consumers of information no matter what they believe. >> you say college professors and campuses tend to be more liberal than society in general. >> but i also say, really, that's not so much about being a college professor. some of that is about, generally, people who have more education, who have ph.d., tend to be more liberals than others in society. there's something about, i mean, let's face it, those of us who
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is college professors, money is not the most important thing for us because we would be out doing other sorts of things. now, that said, whatever our perspectives are, whatever our ideologies are, they vary, there's conservative professors throughout the institution as well as liberals, and if we are doing our jobs right, our students don't know our ideology, and, also it says in the book that the best compliment i ever go from a student was the one who had no idea what my ideology was until she came to babysit our kids one night and saw my wife's bumper sticker on my wife's car because what a really good professor does is take him or herself out -- his or her background out of that conversation with the student. it's not about us. it's about them. again, our job is to challenge them to be critical consumers of information. >> does tenure help students be successful? does college professor tenure? >> i think it helps faculty to
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be successful, and if we're successful, they will be more successful. this begs to question, well, what does tenure get? freedom of inquiry. we can look at what we think is important without having to worry about someone saying, oh, that's an unpopular idea. i mean, if we're all worried about unpopular ideas, we would not be, today, understanding gravity. we would not understand the world as sphere opposed to square. that's what tenure gets us, and then that gets faculty who are able to really do a full inqir ri -- inquiry, grow the knowledge, grow the science, and students grow from that. only because we import that, but students participate in the research projects. if i'm a critical consumer of higher education, if i really want my money's worth of the student, i'm in favor of that. >> what do you teach in the law school? >> criminal law in the law school and i teach in the
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college, the school of public affairs. >> what do you teach there? >> law and society. >> what sparked you to write "how to succeed in college"? >> great question. i taught for over 20 years now, and i found i was beginning to see some of the same problems from students over and over and over again. things like not understanding how to cite material and getting themselves into trouble with play jarrism. a freshman came in, saw the great new world that's college and take advantage of everything about what's in the classroom, and i regularly e-mail my students with the like, and i began do see that i was sending the same e-mails out year after year, and it's time to write the book and say buy the book, and i don't have to send e-mails out. >> what's the best thing students can go to prepare their kids? >> well, a couple things parents can do. one is the academic side. the best thing students can do to prepare for college is reading and writing, and i know
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that sounds old-school, but it is as true today as it was when i went to college in the olden days. that's the best thing to do to have them prepared, but the other thing is they get the students ready to live lives on their own. we hear about helicopter parents today. really, the most important things parents can do is get students ready for the parent not to be there. this is as simple as, okay, how do you do laundry if you're at college? it's really much more to the point of, well, how are you going to get yourself up each day and go to class and do what's required of you? how are you going to balance a social life with academic life? those are -- as a friend of nine says, those are life skills. those are what parents ought to have kids ready for. >> talking with american university professor john gould about "how to succeed in college," while really trying. professor gould, thank you for being on booktv. >> my pleasure, thanks.
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[applause] >> there's a couple busy days from last evening, cnn, piers morgan, and delighted to have our wonderful and old friends here from c-span filming this event that many people across
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the united states can benefit from a lot of what michelle has to say, so just to kick start it this evening, michelle, how did you come up with a fast nate -- fascinating, interesting book, "radical," and where does this interesting name come from? >> i think the genesis of the name is an interesting one in that when i first got to dc, it was the lowest performing and most dysfunctional school district in the entire nation. that was a widely known truth, and so i started doing things that i thought were obvious for a school district in that kind of state. i, you know, started closing low performing schools, moving out ineffective employees, cutting the central office of bloated bureaucracy in half, and as i was taking steps and measures, people said, she's a fire brand, so controversial, and i thought,
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really? you know, after thinking about it for a while, finally, i said, you know what? if bringing common sense to a dysfunctional system makes my radical, i'm okay with that. that's the embracing that concept was the sort of idea for the name of the book. >> bril -- bril lament. some call you antiteacher; however, there's many that like you. which is it, teachers love you or hate you or in between? >> depends on the teacher you talk to. you know, i think the whole notion that i am antiteacher is an incredibly odd one to me, and i write about this in the book. i come from teachers. my grandfather was an educator. my grandmother was a teacher. four of my aunts, sister-in-law, best friend, i grew up around teachers, and having an incredible respect for the difficult job they have every day, and i'm still surrounded by
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teachers to this day, and i think that it is because i have such respect for teachers and hold them in such regard that i have a tremendous belief for what they can do and the power that they have, and i refuse to believe what many folks these days say which is, well, if kids come from difficult situations and poverty, there's nothing that schools can do, and i just roundly reject that notion. when children are in the classrooms of truly effective teachers, even dispete the fact they face a lot of obstacles, kids can achieve at the highest levels so we should aspire to nothing short as a nation of making sure that every single kid is in the classroom under a highly effective teacher every day. it's nothing less than what we want for our own children and nothing less for the nation's kids. >> if the united states spends the most per capita per student, why is america's children ranked
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number 25 out of 30th in developed nations in math, 17th in science, and 14th in reading? >> you know, when i share those statistics with people, they cringe a little bit. when i share the fact that, you know, 25th in math and some of the countries that are ahead of us are hungary and slough shroff knee ya. we don't expect to be behind them on any measure. someone showed me a scatter plot of all of the developed nations in the country, and on one axis, it was academic achievement, levels of the students, and on the other axis was the amount of money the country spends per child on the public education system, and we were in the quadrant you don't want to be in, which is spend a lot of money, has poor results. the only other country that was
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in that chart with us was lux luxumberg. i don't know what they are doing, but apparently, it's not so good. the problem with the notion is that for decades now, people have been sort of pushing this idea what we need in order to fix the system is more money, more money, more money, but when i got to dc, i knew, firsthand, that was twaim not the -- actually not the case. we spent more per kid than any other jurisdiction in the entire nation and the results at the absolute bottom. ..

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